Elizabeth A. “Betty” Howe, 63, of Worcester died Monday, June 26th at UMASS Memorial Medical Center - Memorial Campus. She leaves her beloved sister, Martha M. Dolan and her husband, Kevin, of Worcester; her dear brother in law, David Harding of Gales Ferry, CT; nieces and nephews of whom she was immensely proud, Dr. Shannon Harding of Fairfield, CT, David K. Harding, II of Estero, FL, Kathryn Dolan Kidd and her husband Jared of Scottsville, VA, Julieanne Dolan of South Bend, IN and her fiancé Gregory Mitchell of Jacksonville, FL, Patrick Dolan and his wife, Maria Mellein of Ventura, CA, and Matthew Dolan of Worcester; the joy of her life, her great-nieces and nephews, Alexis, Kyra, Kyle, Cameron, Damien, and Jameson; and her longtime companion, her cat, Samantha. She was predeceased by another beloved sister, Claudia M. Harding, who passed away in November, 2016.
She was born in Worcester, the daughter of George F. and Estelle (Dylewicz) Howe. Betty graduated from South High School in 1972 where she was an accomplished student. In 1976, she graduated from the College of New Rochelle and earned her law degree from Suffolk Law School in 1999. Ms. Howe was a member of Our Lady of the Angels Church and the American Bar Association. She worked as a social worker for many years at Shrewsbury Nursing Home, after which she became a lobbyist for Commonwealth Energy in Cambridge. After completing her law degree in 1999, Betty practiced law in Worcester.
As a young woman, Betty was the picture of motivation and determination. A tremendously active student, she co-edited her yearbook, captained her cheerleading squad, and was voted “best all-around” in her class. Her life as a high school student was decorated with too many accolades to name, a testament to her extraordinary work ethic. She carried this characteristic determination into her life as a college student, graduating summa cum laude, and again into her professional career, ascending quickly from secretary to lobbyist, as well as her later professional pursuits as a lawyer. Thorough and detail-oriented to a fault, Betty thrived on planning and organization. She would bring chaos to order in an instant with her cool head and simple directness. She possessed a biting wit, a love for life’s peculiar twists, and a great laugh that could lighten the room even in the hardest of moments, of which she and her family faced many. And she brought the dessert – always, the dessert.
But what Betty will be remembered best for by her loved ones is the quiet joy she took in her family, friends, and faith, especially later in life. “Auntie Betty” was spectacularly proud of her sisters, Martha and Claudia, and to be a daughter of George and Estelle. She burst with joy at every success of her nieces and nephews, from law school graduations to tenure track positions, from new relationships to new babies. In more difficult times, she provided a couch to cry on, a shoulder to lean on, affirmation and encouragement, and her loyalty. Her life was increasingly one dedicated to the loving support of those nearest to her. It was the great honor of her family and friends to return that loving support in the last days of her earthly life.
Her funeral is Friday, June 30th from O’CONNOR BROTHERS FUNERAL HOME, 592 Park Avenue with a Mass at 10:00 AM in Our Lady of the Angels Church, 1222 Main Street. Burial will be at a later date in Worcester County Memorial Park, Paxton. Calling hours are Thursday, June 29th from 4:00 until 7:00 PM in the funeral home. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Our Lady of the Angels Church Building Fund, 1222 Main Street, Worcester, MA 01603.